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tv   PBS News Hour  PBS  March 22, 2013 10:00pm-11:00pm PDT

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captioning sponsored by macneil/lehrer productions >> woodruff: president obama told jordan's king abdullah he's worried that neighboring syria will become a haven for
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extremists and vowed to persuade congress to swnf jordan more money to shelter syrian refugees. good evening, i'm judy woodruff. >> brown: and i'm jeffrey brown. on the "newshour" tonight, margaret warner is in amman and updates us on the president's middle east trip, capped by a breakthrough between two key u.s. allies. >> woodruff: then, we turn to chicago, where city officials announced plans to close 54 schools, most in overwhelmingly black neighborhoods. >> now we've got to worry about our kids going to another location. worry about what's going to happen to them going to school. >> brown: hari sreenivasan continues our series on broadband technology with a look at a new digital divide over how high-speed access and mobile devices are being used. >> woodruff: and mark shields and david brooks analyze the week's news. that's all ahead on tonight's "newshour." >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by:
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>> and with the ongoing support of these institutions and foundations. and friends of the newshour. and... >> this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. >> brown: it was a day of diplomacy for president obama in the middle east. he promised jordan he would seek $200 million in much-needed help to cope with an influx of refugees from syria's war and before leaving israel, he brokered a critical conversation between two regional leaders.
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once again tonight, margaret warner reports. >> warner: this last working day of president obama's middle east trip saw an unexpected breakthrough on an issue that has hobbled u.s. efforts toñr contain the conflict in syria-- a long-simmering dispute between israel and turkey. on the ben gurion airport tarmac before leaving israel, the president facilitated an ice- breaking phonecall between israeli prime minister netanyahu and turkey's premier erdogan. despite shared concerns about the syrian conflict and other eruptions in the region, they haven't been speaking for nearly three years. mr. netanyahu apologized for the death of nine turkish activists during a 2010 israeli commando raid on an aid ship bound for blockaded gaza. it brought a sudden halt to what had been security cooperation between the two countries. today erdogan and netanyahu
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agreed to normalize relations again. the president spoke of the call and that relationship's importance this evening in amman jordan >> fortunately, they were able to begin the process of rebuilding normal relations between two very important countries in the region. you know, this is a work in progress. it's just beginning. as i said, there are obviously going to still be some significant disagreements between turkey and israel not just on the palestinian question but on a range of different issues. but they also have a whole range of shared interests and they both happen to be extraordinarily strong partners and friends of ours, and so it's in the interest of the united states that they begin this process of getting their relationship back in order. >> warner: mr. obama had spent much of the day in israel and the west bank, visiting landmarks commemorating the history of the jews and one of
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christianity's s holiest treasures safeguarded by the palestinians. he had a few words when he got to yad vashem, the memorial to the six million jews murdered in the holocaust. >> here, on your ancient land, let it be said for all the world to hear: the state of israel does not exist because of the holocaust. but with the survival of a strong jewish state of israel, such a holocaust will never happen again. >> warner: the president then mr. obama was driven there through the israeli checkpoints and security wall separating israel from the west bank, after a sudden sandstorm grounded the president's chopper. it was perhaps a too-perfect metaphor for the tangled peace process he leapt back into this week. from there, it was a short flight to amman, capital of
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jordan, first arab state the president has visited since the uprisings erupted in the region two years ago. king abdullah has resisted the tide of revolution, but there are growing economic and political pressures on the hashemite kingdom. chief among them: syria and its brutal civil war, to the north. the king was the first arab leader to call on bashar al- assad to go, and is cooperating with the u.s. and others to make that happen. jordan reportedly hosts u.s. and other special forces training the ragtag syrian rebels. but the pressures come from a flood of syrian refugees. some 460,000 now, housed in squalid refugee camps, d the numbers keep growing. >> how are you going to turn back women, children and the wounded? this is something that we just can't do.
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it's not the jordanian way. the problem is obviously the burden it's having on jordan. we've tried to quantify it as much as possible. the latest figure says it's going to cost roughly $550 million a year. not only is that a problem, but it's going to be a tremendous strain, obviously, on infrastructure, and it's creating social problems and security problems. >> warner: there are strains on jordan too from the fact an estimated half of all jordanians are palestinians from the west bank. so king abdullah has long urged the u.s. to get re-engaged in trying to bring peace between israelis and palestinians. the president said he was ready to do what he could. >> my hope and expectation is that, as a consequence of us doing our homework, we can explore with the parties a mechism for them to sit back down, to get rid of some of the old assumptions, to think in new ways and to get this done. and i think if... if... if... if
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it gets done in a timely way, then the israeli people will be safer and the palestinian people will be freer and children on both sides will have a better >> warner: jordan is only one of two arab nations that has made peace with israel. >> margaret, hello, tell us first of all, the admistration sms very pleased abo this breakthrough between israel and turkey. tell us about president obama's role in making that happen. >> warner: judy, the white house, the administration has been working for over two years to try to heel this rift, but it became important as the syria conflict got more serious in the neighborhood, because in the absence of going in in thely, the president is trying to all the neighbors as we know in the region to assist with refñg es, to assist with figuring out where the chemical weapons are, to try to figure out which islamist forces might be gaining ground among the rebel forces.
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it's very complicated. and to have two of america's three staunchest, best, sort of security and intelligence allies in the region not speaking has been a huge, huge problem. so, the president-- john kerry, when he went to archg raon his maten trip as secretary of state, talkedded to erdjuan, and the president when he got here at his very first meeting with netanyahied wit brout it up, and has been working it we're told each time they met. so it was set up that they went to the airport. they had a trailer set up, and netanyahi and obama went in and the call was made. and we were all wondering-- it took something like half an hour. and we wondered why so long, why was the president there, why did he get on the phone. what we're told is both netanyahu and erdjuan required the president to be there, for each one that gave that leader
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cover to do this sort of forced public. erdogan could say president obama has explained that it's very, very important for to us at least cooperate on security intelligence. i need to do this for my friend barack obama, and netanyahu could make the same case for the people criticizing him at home for apologizing to erdogan. >> you mentioned syria. when the president got to jordan, he and king abdullah held a joint press conference, ws cference, and the the president announced there he is going to be asking congress for more money to go to jordan, to help them deal with all the refugees coming in from syria. why is that important for the obama administration? >> judy, when i said there were two of the three allies in the region, the third most important ally there for the united states is jordan, a tiny country, but punches above the weight. jordan security forces and intelligence forces are excellent.
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and i described in the earlier piece some of the role it's playing. but king abdullah's on somewhat shaky ground, the economy is bad, and parof the problem is the refugees are a huge pressure point as the king sort of eloquently said today. few of us saw the foreign minister this afternoon who said it's almost as if-- he said it's as if another eight or nine, the king said 10% has been added to our population. the foreign minister said eye asked him the question the king was asked, would you ever shut your doors? and he said we just can't do that. but i have to say my nightmare scenario is i get a call at 3:00 a.m. and i'm told there are 50,000 refugees at the border, what do we do? >> margaret, just to wrap up quickly, we know the bulk of the president's time was spent in israel, trying to patch up relations there, but also calling for new thinking on the part of the israelis and palestinians. have you picked up reaction yet to what the president was
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saying? >> jied, in the public, especially in the left in israel, there was great-- great joy at what the president had to say about resolving the conflict. but the reaction from people sort of in the political circles was a little more tr to form. for example, bennett, from the settler movement who did very well in the election and is now in the government said we don't need-- a second palestinian state. that isn't new thinking. and he said very pointedly, people can't be occupiers in their own land. in order, he was rejecting the ideaçó that israelis don't have the right to live anywhere they want in the entire territory. today i talked to ashwari, a palestinian very prominent, still member of the p.l.o. executive committee and she said we don't need new language and thinking we need new will and courage by the united states and palestinians were widespread in their disappointment with the trip because they felt that the president had really embraced
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the israeli kind of view of this conflict, and had not expressed a willingness to press for some free zone settlement. it does not mean something may not happen. but you could see that new thinking is going to come hard in this region of a very old conflict. >> margaret warner, thank you very much, joining us from amman. >> brown: still to come on the "newshour": chicago's plans to shutter public schools; the growing gap on how internet access is being used and shields and brooks. but first, the other news of the day. here's hari sreenivasan. >> sreenivasan: the senate looked ready to pass its first budget in four years in a midnight finish. the final vote was set to come later tonight or early tomorrow morning, after a flurry of votes on dozens of amendments dubbed "vote-a-rama". the nonbinding budget bill would impose almost $1 trillion of tax increases couplihu)ud $875 billion in spending cuts. democrat chris coons of delaware said crafting a budget should be about more than the bottom line.
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>> we need to do it in a way that both stabilizes our deficit and debt, makes critical investments in growing our economy and preserves the core of the programs on which americans rely. this is not just about numbers. it is also about values. it is also about priorities. >> sreenivasan: republican jeff sessions of alabamaçó called democrats out for how they were using the word balance during the debate. >> they're also using the word balance. they hope people will hear it and think that this mes they have a balanced budget. they know they don't have a balanced budget. they won't tell the american people they don't have one. they just use the word. but it's not in their document. >> sreenivasan: sessions forced a vote on an amendment to put democrats on record in opposition to balancing the budget by the end of the decade. it failed on a near-party line vote. lawmakers in north dakota moved to outlaw abortion today. the republican-controlled
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legislature passed a bill defining life as starting at cception. it is one in a series of anti- abortion measures that have passed this year. the bill now goes to the state's republican governor, jack dalrymple. he opposes abortion, but has not said whether he would sign the bill into law. a compounding pharmacy in augusta, georgia is recalling all of its injectable medicines after an inspection by the food and drug administration. earlier this week the same pharmacy recalled the drug avastin, when five patients got serious eye infections after using the medicine. f.d.a. inspectors found issues at the pharmacy that call into question the sterility of its drugs. the president of myanma declared a state of emergency in several townships after fighting between buddhists and muslims left at least 20 people dead. the city of meikhtila was covered in thick, black smoke as firefighters raced to put out fires set by rioting mobs. and police fanned out and seized machetes and hammers along the way. ethnic violence has spread in myanmar over the past two years, when decades of military rule
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ended and the country turned toward democracy. the parliament of cyprus adopted laws today to create a solidarity fund to pool state assets and impose capital controls on banks. the votes were the first of several as the island@;ation raced against a monday deadline to qualify for an international bailout. cyprus needs to raise $7.5 billion to get a $13 billion bailout from the eurozone and international monetary fund. stocks on wall street rose in anticipation cyprus would reach a deal. the dow jones industrial average gained more than 90 points to close at 14,512. the nasdaq rose 22 points to close at 3,245. for the week, the dow lost one- hundredth of o percent. the nasdaq slipped a-tenth of 1%. the universe is 80 million years older than previously thought.ñi that's according to astronomists working with the european space agency. they analyzed a new, more precise satellite image of cosmic radiation left over from
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the big bang that created the cosmos. the scientists now think the universe began 13.8 billion years ago and is expanding more slowly than they first thought. the celebrated nigerian novelist chinua achebe died today in boston after a brief illness. chebe is best knowfor telling the history of his native country and the story of africa after colonial rule. his first novel "things fall apart" was published in 1958 and sold more than ten million copies. in 2008, achebe sat down with jeff on the "newshour." >> after my novel, "things fall apart," was published, it just looked as if people had been waiting everywhere, in africa, in nigeria, in ibo-land, to tell their own version of their story, as if something was holding them before. and it seems to me that that's a very good thing, indeed. >> sreenivasan: achebe was 82 years old. jeff's full interview with
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achebe from 2008 is online on our art beat page. those are some of the day's major stories. now, back to jeff? >> brown: the debate over the city of chicago's plan to close dozens of public schools intensified today. public school officials cited a billion dollar deficit and under-enrollment as the driving factorbehind the move. but critics claim it will hurt the communities where the schools are located, primarily hispanic and african-american neighborhoods. the closures could start as soon as this school year ends. this week, parents received letters alerting them to the proposed cuts. >> now we've got to worry about our kids going to another location. worry about what's going to happen to them going to school. >> it's all abouázroutine. and now you're disrupting the routine of the children. >> brown: the chicago public schools proposal would close 54r underutilized schools, forcing the relocation of appximately 3000 students. the district says the move would
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save $560 million over the next decade. c.p.s. chief executive officer barbara byrd-bennett addressed the plan in a video posted wednesday on the district's website. >> what we must do is to ensure that the resources that some kids get that all kids get with our consolidations we're able to guarantee that our children will get what they need and what they deserve. >> brown: opponents of the shut down include the chicago teachers union whose members struck over demands for higher pay and other issues for a week last september. they've organized a march and rally for next week. but some parents see the potential change as something positive. >> i feel it would be a great opportunity for her to get outside of the neighborhood school and go to a better school. >> brown: the chicago board of education is expected to vote on the measure in may. declining enrollment has also forced other major cities like washington d.c. and philadelphia to close scores of public schools in recent years.
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we take up the debate now with two people at the center of the fight. we start with jesse ruiz. he's vice president of the chicago board of education. he was appointed to that post by mayor rahm emanuel in 2011. i spoke with him a short time ago. welcome to you, so why is such a dramatic action so necessary? is this resources, money, pure and simple? >> no. it is two-fold. one, we are looking at a record budget deficit of about $1 billion next year. so we're looking for every aspect to reap savings in our system. and we have underutilized schools as a result from it population loss in certain parts of the city of chicago. it's healthy for those schools to right size, to become fully utilizeed schools and combining under-utilizeed schools which garners savings we can reinvest and focus the resources we have
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in one school billion as opposed to multiple, partially used billions. >> brown: for people around the country, give us a sense of how serious the situation is there. is there a sense that chicago is failing some of its students right now? >> i think we have. we've failed to provide those resources that can give them add benefits, particularly in underserved communities, and so thus we're focusing on these underserved communities and it happens to be areas where there has been population loss and we can consolidate some of these schools, save $43 million a year in operations, reinvest those $43 million into the classrooms and directly toward our student. that will benefit them every single day and help them get a bett eduation in chicago public schools. >> brown: one of the criticisms, of course, is that this will hurt poor neighborhoods even more. they will lose a kind of hub of the neighborhood and that many of the students will now have to travel longer distances, in many cases through unsafe neighborhoods.
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>> sure. and we're cognizant of those concerns. we're concerned about those things, and thus we're look to repurpose some of those buildings so that they don't stay vacant, that they continue to serve the neighborhoods, just simply not as schools. perhaps as parent centers, other neighborhood centers, perhaps other n.g.o.s and nonprofits can use those for other services to provide to the community. meanwhile, we can take those savings and then also put into safe passage programs to make sure students who now have to travel different routes or a little further will have a safe route to get to school and try to ensure the safety and security of our students is utmost. we're going to reinvest the dollars to make sure they have a safe and feel comfortable attending a new school. >> brown: doesn't that take some money to repurpose those buildings? i guess one argument would be the money you're going to use for that, you could use to do-- to enhance the buildings rght now, kep the kids there. >> well, we won't repurpose the buildings. other folks will potentially provide the building to them at littleo low cost, and other
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agencies can do that. we'll take the money we'll save, again, 43 million a year and simply not operating them. on top of that, we'll save $560 million in the next decade in capital avoidance of costs that we won't have to put in so some of these buildings that are very, very old and need a lot of repairs, we'd rather focus those on a newer facility that's more-- all right prepared f 21st centu learning th the latest technology and libraries and laboratories that students need and the technology that students need to use-- to learn today. >> brown: another question i've heard is why all at once? i mean, this is-- it becomes a very disruptive thing when you do so many schools at one time. is the city prepared for this when you're going to have thousands of people, many buildings affected? >> well, we've been doing this a little bit at a time for last decade, frankly, and we're-- frankly, we're weary of having to go through this every single europe in chicago. every spring is school closing season. we want to be done with this business now, get it done with,
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right size of district. frankly, it's something that should have been done-- this is a problem that has been a decade-long independent making, should have been addressed before the current school board and school management at cps, is determined to not ignore those issues. i think frankly we would be disappointed in all of us if we didn't recognize this issue and address it and not be satisfied with the status quo and let's go on to the next five years, have a moratorium on school closings which the mayor and school administration has said would be the case and focus on teaching and learning every spring, not closing schools. >> brown: race is inevitably an issue. neez are largely black and hispanic majority schools, and students affected. what would you say to people who say this is these minority communities where the disruption is felt? >> well, it's these minority communities that have been underserved, and thus even though we're facing a billion-dollar deficit, we want to take those savings and reinvest it in the schools that do need the critical supports,
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do need wraparound services and this is a wa to get those monies out of frankly buildings and put them into student sempleses and classrooms that directly impact the learning environment for a student. so we're cognizant of that. and again, we're frustrated that folks that were running the school system previously didn't address this, and we're here today, and we're going to address it today. we think there's an urgency about this to get this work done, do it well, and make sure that the best interest of the student is always at heart, which it is. >> brown: timely does, this mean loss of jobs, teachers' jobs, administrative jobs, and do y think this is it there more to come? >> there potentially could be a loss of jobs. in the last teacher crooct there was a negotiated system of how these teachers would reapply for position. obviously, the student aren't going away, they're just being consolidated in one school billion. so we still need the high-quality teachers. we will save on custodial services that have fewer of those needs in one building versus two or three. yeah, we look forward to this being it.
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and thus making a big effort this year, making huge strides in getting a current right-size system and then for the next five years,eing done with th and fosing on teaching and learning. >> brown: rue, chicago boferred education, thank you very much. >> thank you. >> brown: joining us live is karen lewis, president of the chicago's teaches union. welcome to you. tell us what is the most important reason that you oppose this move. >> well, we oppose it because it's completely destabilizing of neighborhoods in which neighborhoods are already destabilized. jesse ruiz is very good at laying out the problems from a spreadsheet analysis and it makes perfect sense- oh, let put two places affect that are underutilized. the problem is, the reason these buildings have underutilized is we have had decades of school closings. the school closings have created underutilization issue. and one of the things that is
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very problematic about it, if you listen to him, it's all corporate speak. this is an attack, a corporate attack on public education. we have 25 buildings right now that have still vacant from the closings. i love how he says, "we're going to repurposethese buildings." those are all, perhaps-- i hope everybody noticed that-- there's no plan for this. there's no safety plan block by block. people do not understand how unsafe chicago is right now. i know you've heard it and you've talked about it. literally, we have 59 different gangs in chicagos and 650 branches of those gangs. we're talking block by block so sending children from one place to the next could be deadly. in addition, there are a lot of special ed programs. i was at a school yesterday that was a faiy new building that had already been retrofitted with the things they said they wanted to give. libraries, exiewrpt labs, science labs, beautiful building. they're being sent to a school
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that is much, much older, not in good shape, and not really equipped to handle the children with special needs. >> announcer: let me ask you the same question i asked him about whether and to what extent chicago is failing its student today. where do you see the failure and where do you see the cost? >> i mean, i don't understand the-- what we're talking about when we're talking about fail. we have been failing poor and minority children across this country. it's not just chicago. it's everywhere. and the issue is we don't want to have honest conversations about poverty because doing these other things and focusing the conversation somewhere else allows people to not talk about the other issues. so in the poorer parts ofñi tow, children have not had access to good things, and then all of a sudden, we're starting to see that happen. almost every single school that is on the bubble here, we've seen a lot of resources put in
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lately. but some, not so much at all. so the city and the administration, look, we've had four different c.e.o.s in the last three years. we have had añi constant churnig of the board of education and people in c.p.s. this is not the time for them to do this drastic, draconian-- i mean, this is a complete watch. this is warfare now. so we're not going to only have food deserts in chicago. we're going to have places that actual tullely have school disertz. >> brown: i asked him about potential cuts. i wonder how you see that. do you see this as an attack on teach experlz the union? >> absolutely. i mean, this is a problem we've been seeing, again, nationwide. but here if chicago, it's especially heinous. we have a mayor that only has the ear-- the only people that have his ear are the corporate reformer types. so they won't listen to ways to really accomplish the kind of things we want to do.
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everyone wants the best education they can possibly have for their children. we don't blame parents. we don't blame society. we don't blame anything, but we have to honestly look at why are they attacking us so much? we feel like we're in chiraq. >> there is a perception, fair or not, from many people, that teachers unions are often a barrier to changes that are necessary. and you heard this when you went on strike last year, that whatever is put forward, the response will be no, we want to stay with the status quo. >> and that is not true. the status quo is that rich people get richer and beautiful at schools, and poor children have bad schools. we are absolutely against the status quo. but what our children have been subject to is status quo education, a status quo of ranking and sorgt. we are absolutely against the status quo. but they use it all the time because they are the ones that actually promote the status quo. they don't want to end-- they
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don't want to end the status quo. but they want to point their fingers at us. >> brown: what happens now? are you planning to fight this? >>there are a variety of ways. you never put all yur eggs in one basket. they're legal means. there are legislative means. the most important way is to mobilize our parents. we've had weeks and weeks of hearings. they have had thousands of people come out and say do not close our schools. this was rahm emanuel's number, the number that we have now, 50. it was always that number. they put out 300, then came back with 129. they were always spent in having this number, this shawk and awe, complete destruction of public leap funded public education in chicago. the key is mass mobilization of our members, our teachers, our para-professionals, clinicians, along with parents and community. they do not want their neighborhoods destroyed. >> brown: karen lewis of the chicago teachers union, thank
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you so much. >> thank you for having me. we miss you in chicago. >> woodruff: now, we explore the so-called digital divide-- the gap in access to the internet and the challenges posed by how we use it even when we're wired in. it's been a concern for the federal communications commission. today, that agency's head, julius genachowski announced he will be stepping down soon. hari sreenivasan has the story. the last in our series on broadband and how it's changing our habits, our work, and our communities. >> if you have connectivity but you don't know how to use the programs and the software, it doesn't really help. >> sreenivasan: that's outgoing f.c.c. chairman genachowski last month on a new effort to close the so-called digital divide. >> if you don't have the digital literacy you can't even apply for a job and increasingly you're not eligible for a lot of the jobs being created in our economy.
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>> sreenivasan: approximately 100 million americans still don't have broadband access. a disproportionate number are people of color, lower income or less education. >> in the broadband world, we still see digital divides. >> sreenivasan: lee rainie runs internet studies for the pew research center. >> when it comes to age, older people are less likely to be online than younger people. education-- the more education you have the more likely it is to have. >> sreenivasan: and there's increasing concern over the way broadband is being used among different groups, whether spending more time on social networks, streaming television programs and movies and playing games, is at the expense of educational advancement, managing finances and pursuing job opportunities. this week the ad council launched the website it's a nationwide campaign from to increase digital literacy. for more on the digital divide,
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we turn to vicky rideout. she is the author of several studies about children and media. she currently runs v.j.r. consulting and is an editor at the journal of children and media. and ambassador karen kornbluh, who stepped down recently as the u.s. representative to the organization for economic cooperation and development. she also served as assistant chief at the f.c.c. where she worked on broadband access. so, karen kornbluh, let me start with you. where do you see the divide? how do you see it playing out. >> this is such a technical issue it's a good idea to step back and remember why we care. we care because the internet is where we all come together and collaborate. if we don't have equal access we can't have equal access to jobs and growth. i think there are three kinds of divides, and we heard that in the intro. there's a divide in access to today's technology. and there we see that a third of americans don't have access to the internet, and it's much higher levels for african americans, hispanics, lower
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income americans. then there's access toñi tomorrow's technology. and what we're talking about there is the very high speeds and mobile can help ray great deal, but we're facing a spectrum crunch. so the f.c.c. is doing what it can to get more spectrum available through auctions. the third kind of divide we were talking about in theñr preceding segment where we talked about education, the divide in terms of digital literacy and access to skills and education. and technology, the internet should be used to close the divide that we have in this country in education. what we don't want is unequal access to increase the divide. >> sreenivasan: vicky rideout, you're still studying these. how do you see it? >> what ambassador kornbluh says is right. we do have a digital divide and i think sometimes there's a temptation to say well, the fact that we have mobile access now solves the digital divide. all schools are connected so
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we've solved the digital divide. really, there is a very big difference in the quality of online access between the haves and have-notes. and when it comes to children, which is what i study in particular, and i'm most concned with, lower income kids are still at a very real disadvantage. if you're look at kids who are trying to research their homework on line, or who are wanting to apply to colleges or financial aid online or looking for jobs online. that's not something that is very easily done on a smartphone if you happen to be one of the lower income kids who has a smart phone. >> sreenivasan: karen kornbluh, let's talk about that seeming literacy gap, where if i have access and the means and the education, maybe i'm taking an online course, whereasaybe i don't have that i'm playing an online game. >> exactly. there's that difference where you're a passive consumer of the internet versus an active participant and you're really learning how to do self-guided education. one of the great stories we've had in this country is theñi
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e-rate. it's a little known program but it's been hugely successful. in 1996, if you were a teacher in the classroom, you didn't have access to a phone. a kid got sick, you'd have to go to the principal's office and leave your kids alone because there was no phone. now over 90% of classrooms have an internet connection because of this program. it's not that high-speed ubiquitous connection. if we look at where the south koreans are they show us where to go. they're talking about a real ubiquitous education are they use technology, where there will be great access at home, great access in the schools, the teachers are going to be trained and you're going to be able to upgrade people's education using that technology. >> sreenivasan: vicky rideout, i want to touch base on not just literacy gap but the gap that's stillhysically present as karen mentioned. some of those classrooms don't have access yet or perhaps in rural areas. >> well, what we've seen is there have been some great
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successes as far as public policy goes. and that's thanks to folks at the f.c.c. and that's why the fact that the chairman of the f.c.c. has just stepped down, and his replacement will be a very important pick for this president because we do need somebody who will put the public interest first. we've had some successes. so that you find that low-income and high-income kids are just as likely to use the internet school. but it's at home that you see the biggest gaps in terms of the quality of their o.k. cess. and you were talk before about the difference in terms of the tieppedz of things that people do with the internet, whether it's used mostly for entertainment or whether folks are taking the best possible advantage of some of the educational content there. and i think that's really another question for policy makers and educators is whether we are making the most of that technology, whether it's for low-income kids or high-income
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kids are, we really making sure that the technology is reaching the highest promise as far as providing high-quality educational content for kids who need it. and i think that's more the question that what the individual kids are doing with it. because low-income kids and high-income kids, kids from lower educated parents and kids from parents with higher educations are all mainly using computers and new technologies for things like playing games and social networking and watching youtube videos. so we have to make sure there's a good quality content and services for them as well. >> sreenivasan: karen, i also want to talk about, you said earlier tomorrow's technology and one of the ways the digital divide to acassess has decreased is through mobile. where do you see that fitting in? >> that's a tremendous opportunity but as vicki said too often they're using it to waste time. they talked about the time-wasting gab because lower income kids are usingsing it to
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do passive things like watch videos and playing games. that's one of the things south koreans are showing us what to do and other countries. they're getting great content online. i heard about experiments here where some of the game companies are teaming up with etcareds to try to develop some new technology. but thies real role i think for public policy, both in terms of getting greater broadband into the schools with this erate, solving the spectrum crunch with these new incentive auctions, and also getting really good content on line that is educational and fun and engaging. >> sreenivasan: kan kornbluh, how is mobile reshaping this landscape? >> it has certainly expanded access a lot, and that's very important. as i say, it's the quality of that access that is still-- where there's still a gap. in my family, we've got a couple of high school kids who are applying for colleges and applying for financial aid. that's not something you can do with a mobile device. we've got another family member
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who is unemployed looking for work. not something you can do very effectively with a mobile device. so it's important in helping to bridge that gap but it doesn't do it alone. and i think this is a perfect example of where we have to consciously use public policy as ambassador kornbluh said to make sure these technologies are helping to reduce inequalities and don't end up exacerbating them. >> sreenivasan: already, karen kornbluh, vicky rideout, thank you. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> brown: you can watch our previous stories about high speed broadband on our website. >> woodruff: and to the analysis of shields and brooks, syndicated columnist mark shields and "new york times" columnist david brooks. >> welcome to you both. more ferment in the republican party this, we david. we heard, among other things, rand paul talking about a completely new position for him
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on immigration. what's going on? >> well, the immigration story is just good news for those of us who want a comprehensive solution. whether it's the-- what's happening on immigration is we failed probably seven, eight years ago, but now it's just moving. and so there's a groom of eight senators in the senate who are working together to come up with a bill, and they've overcome what used to be the main hurdle which is how-- what are we going to do with the 11 or 12 million who are here. they have more or less got that. now they are arguing how we get the long-term flow of. so suddenly you're seeing progress, and that's in the senate. in the house, you're seeing some private meetings where they are making progress there, too, which is actually a harder job under the aegis of leadership of both parties. i tnk it's quite likely what we couldn't do a couple of years ago we're going to do this time which is have a exrepsive immigration reform bill and fix
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the system. >> woodruff: and a big turnaround in position for somebody like rand paul and some of the other members. >> rand paul ran in 2010 as the teaparty candidate for the senate, beat mitch mcconnell, the republican leader, senior kentucky politicians, and his position on immigration at that point was he was seriously questioning the birth right citizenship of a child born in is country, not to american parents. he wanted to construct along the 1,969-mile border between the united states and mexico electronic fepses, projecting a cost of $10 million to $15 million. i don't know the contractors he was going to get to do it, 969 miles. so it is a turnaround. judy, the polling places closed on november 6. but the election returns are still coming in. all you have to think about is this-- mitt romney got a higher percentage of the white vote in 2012 than any candidate since
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ronald reagan in 1984. the difference is in 1984, if mitt romney had gotten 59% of the white vote, he would have been elected president. he wouldn't have needed an african american, a la teen oh, an asian. he could have won-- that would have been an absolute majority with 86% of the whole electorate. it's down to 72. not only the loss of lateen organization but the loss of asians. the real loz for republicans over the last three elections has been their total decline and collapse of their support ang asian voters, high education, higher income, and there's a sense of anti-immigrant. i think david is absolutely right in his diagnosis. i think it's very encouraging. but i think there is some political motivation here that republicans understand if they're going to be competitive in a national election, they have to make amend and make fences, especially after mitt romney ran on self-deportation as an answer to the problem in 2012. >> woodruff: hence, the autopsy the chairman of the republican party announced,
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rolled out this week. he's saying not all of that is going to be implemented but it was kind of a remarkable exercise. >> i can't think of another post-mordem as bold and comprehensive. i personally don't think it went far enough. my line is it makes me look forward to the autopsy of 2017. it's not so good we won't have another, probably. but it was incredibly comprehensive. some of it is just trying to limit the number of debates. remember they remember having many, many debates. some of it, they were talking about having regional primaries, to get a wider selection of the electorate. some of it is just having-- being a little less off-putting to some of these groups that mark is talking about. so it was a complete across-the-board sweep. i still think they need to do more on the policy substance, and some of which i like is getting the convention moved to june or july instead of august or september. so it was just an
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across-the-board series of changes, quite bold and they're to be congratulatedly for it. >> woodruff: david is saying they didn't go far enough. >> i say two cheers for the republicans. usually a party that loses has two excuses. one, their candidate was flawed. it was john kerry's fault. he was a foreigner. it was john mccain's fault, because he was the old grumpy "get off my lawn, kids" candidate. or if it isn't that, you blame the customer. it's the voters' fault. voters used to be smart and patriotic and bold and now they're weak and dumb and vote for the other guy. this was an acknowledgment that there was something wrong with the party. it wasn't just the accident of mitt romney or whatever else. they called themselves out of touch. narrow minded. stuffy old men, trib unz of the deserving rich. i mean, i just-- i think they deserve enormous credit. and the one policy recommending a they did come up with, of course, was immigration, strongly, strenuously endorsing
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that. but, you know, to me it was-- it was a mea culpa, azet the same time, sort of a candid assessment of where the party-- >> let me go into why i think it was insufficient. agreeing with what mark said. the party cannot be competitive nationally unless it's competitive in california, oregon, washington, new england, pennsylvania, along the coasts. and the problem for the party is you can't get there from here. you can't start out where the current republicans are and win back those places. to me what you have to do is create a different republican party that can win in those places. >> because these are more diverse. >> right, and so a different wing expaefort it has to talk in a different language about mobility, a different language about social issues, probably a different language about the role of government. and parties that are majority parties are incoherent parties. the party in the 1930s was pretty progressive north
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easterners. so far they haven't done the infrastructure to get a coastal wing of the republican party. >> woodruff: if all of that is about the presidential cycle, every four years, what about in congress where every day we see the republican philosophy and democratic philosophy playing itself out. this week they did agree on a budget, at least a funding of the government, for the next, what, six months, through the end of the fiscal year. is any of that playing out in what you see in washington? >> well, i think-- on david-- on david's point, i agree with him, but neither party right now has two wings. i mean, the democratic party would have won the majority in 2006. did it by winning house seats in border districts, in southern district, sort of blue dog democrats. they all got wiped out in 2010, and i haven't seen much effort or much success in rebuilding that. the democrats have become a more liberal party and a more sectarian party since then. but they had to win elections.
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yes, judy, i think there's almost been an acknowledgment that dysfunction is is not helping, a, the government, the nation, or either political party. on capitol hill. and i think that encouraged or was sort of the handmaiden to reaching this accommodation for a continuing resolution. and i take any sign of-- encouraging sign as an encouraging sign at this point. >> woodruff: does it say anything, david, maybe there's going to be some grand bargain agreement. >> no. let's not get carried away. there's still a remote chance they'll have a sort of medium bargain but it's mostly a decision that we're not going to kill ourselves. we're not going to have the midnight budget deals. we're not going to go over fiscal cliffs. we're going to try to hit some singles. that is fine. that's progress. we're doing things by the rules and constitution laid out and that's progress. for the party of the whereins, that's good news. the bad news is they continue to shoot themselveses in the foot on small symbolic things. a couple of weeks ago mark and i were exercised on an attack on
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the treaty of the disabled abroad. a couple things where they looked like idiots. tom coburn wants to defund political science. defunding a university discipline-- it saves you no money and it sends an antiintellectual message. it's the little symbolic thing that makes you think the republicans are weird. so that remains a problem junk change of topic, the president went to israel, went to the middle east this week. he was in jordan today, mark. in israel, he's trying to patch things up with netanyahu, with prime minister netanyahu. but he also talked a lot there about new thinking is needed. he said that to both the israelis and palestinians. what are you seeing from this trip? >> i saw the clock turn back five years. i saw the charismatic, eloquent, inspiring barack obama of 2008 arrived in this country and captivated the nation. i thought the speech in jerusalem was evocative and-- of
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that standard. i thought it was fresh. it was inspiring. it was elevating. it was eloquent. he spoke candidly to both sides. he talked about the importance of-- he reached across the generational divide to younger israelis. i mean, to people who had been-- not stuck in-- junk and you were were surprised by that. >> i think the white house played it very smart. i have to be honest. the phone call today that margaret and you discussed about-- from prime minister erdogan, putting prime minister on the phone, apologizing for the flotilla deaths and murders, the turkish ship. i just think it was encouraging. i'm not saying that peace at
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hand bucialght i think it was a very important step in the right direction. the president acknowledged that his requirement at the outset of laying down-- stopping slementz was not wise or necessary at this point in order to proceed. >> woodruff: it was positive? >> i thought it was a remarkable speech. >> it was an ardent statement of zionism and then he talked to the palestinians and said i'm going to explain to the world and americans what it looks like from your point of view. he did step back from the settlement freeze, which i think is realistic. and basically he laid out a u.s. policy which says, listen, we're not going to probably have a peace process that's going to have some huge breakthrough right away. that's probably rash, if the muslim brotherhood is going to take ever over the west bank. we have to encourage moderates by having some sormt of process going. deep down, beneath the soaring rhetoric, which i think moved a lot of people there was a realistic set of promises-- let's just try to shore up the moderates to the extent we can by giving them something. and that might be the
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short-term, all we can do, and then in the long term, maybe things will get a little better if the islamists are sort of weakened. >> he did assert american commitment to the well-being, rvival, defense of israel. but when he said, "put yourself in their shoes," the palestinians, "look at the world through their eyes. it's of their eyes. that's requiring-- that is speaking very candidly on a very sensitive subject, and i commend him for it. >> woodruff: last thing i'm raise-- we only have about 30 seconds so this is tough. the tenth anniversary on the war in iraq pain very brief thought from both of you, looking back, some people are asking, was it worth it? i don't want to put you on the spot in 15 seconds, david, but-- >> i'm not sure it was worth it. i think we look back and are more modest about what our intelligence can do, more than
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modest about our own sort of role in the world. i think it's been a lesson in modesty, but not isolation. >> it was not worth it, judy. it was-- it was a war of aggression. it was not a war of self-defense. it was organized against a country that had never attacked the united states, that had no capacity nor intention of attacking the united states. and it-- 44,088 american families without a son or husband or daughter or wife at the table next christmas. >> woodruff: mark shields, david brooks, thank you both. and mark and david keep up the talk on the double header recorded in our newsroom. among tonight's topics, congressional escapes and march madness. that will be posted at the top of the rundown later this evening. >> brown: again, the major developments of the day: president obama told jordan's king abdullah he's worried that neighboring syria will become a haven for extremists. parents and teachers in chicago vowed to fight back against the
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city's plans to close 54 public schools and theenate moved toward passing a budget bill-- >> woodruff: online, we look ahead to a topic that will be in the news next week: same sex marriage. hari sreenivasan explains. >> sreenivasan: the supreme court will hear arguments on two gay rights cases. political editor christina bellantoni hosted a google hangout with religious leaders on different sides of the issues today. watch that on the rundown. plus, tonight's edition of "need to know" examines how the f.d.a. vets medical devices such as implants. find a link to "need to know" and much more on our website judy? >> woodruff: and that's the "newshour" for tonight. on monday, ray suarez reports on ireland, climbing back after the economic meltdown. i'm judy woodruff. >> brown: and i'm jeffrey brown. "washington week" can be seen later this evening on most pbs stations. we'll see you online and again here monday evening. have a nice weekend. thank you and good night. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by:
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